Bloat in Dogs: How to Recognize and Treat It

bloat in dogs how to recognize and treat it

Bloat in dog is a serious and potentially fatal condition in dogs. If your dog starts to show signs of bloat, it should be taken to a veterinarian right away.


What is bloat in dogs?

Bloat is the unusual swelling of a dog’s stomach due to food, fluid, or gas. This swelling can put undue pressure on the other organs and it could lead to a stoppage of blood flowing to the dog’s heart, a tear in the stomach, and difficulty in breathing. In some cases, the stomach can actually rotate or twist thereby trapping blood in the stomach. If left untreated, bloat cause a dog to go into shock and eventually die in a very short amount of time.

How do I know if my dog has bloat?

Since a dog with bloat can die within a very short amount of time, it is important to be aware of the symptoms. At the onset, your dog will appear restless, drool, have a swollen stomach, pace anxiously, and attempt to vomit with nothing coming out. As the conditions worsen, your dog will have pale gums, shortness of breath, appear weak, and collapse.

Is bloat breed specific?

Bloat can occur in a dog regardless of breed. Bloat is most prevalent in large-breed dogs with deep chests such as Akitas, Bassett Hounds, Boxers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Greyhounds, Irish Setters, and Weimaraners.

What causes bloat in dogs?

Currently, veterinarians have not been able to find a direct cause for bloat in dogs. Certain behaviors have been linked to bloat. Behaviors such as eating quickly, overeating, drinking excessively, eating from a raised bowl, eating only one large meal a day, or running after eating have been known to cause bloat.

How is bloat in dogs treated?

Since there is a build-up of pressure in the dog’s stomach, the veterinarian will most likely insert a tube in the dog’s throat and into the stomach to relief the pressure. In the event the stomach is inverted, the veterinarian will insert a hollow needle into the belly. This will help reduce the pressure. Your veterinarian will then take X-rays to determine if the stomach is actually inverted. If it is, an emergency surgery will be performed to return the stomach to its right position.

Is there a way to prevent bloat in dogs?

While there really is no foolproof way to prevent bloat in dogs, there are some ways to reduce the chances of it occurring: avoid using a raised bowl (unless recommended by a veterinarian), ensure your dog rests after eating, feed your dog several small meals throughout the day, and control the amount of water your dog drinks.

To sum it up, bloat in dogs occurs when the dog’s stomach becomes swollen due to gas, food, or fluids. The swelling can create pressure on the dog’s other vital organs and prevent blood flow to and from the stomach. Symptoms include a swollen stomach, restlessness, weakness, drooling, shallow breathing, and attempting to vomit with nothing coming. If your dog exhibits these signs, take it to a veterinarian right away. Releasing the pressure in the stomach is how bloat is treated. In the event the stomach is inverted, a veterinarian will surgically re-position the stomach.

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